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-h Carolina Conundrum 


John Hope Franklin 


'er with Tributes to John Hope Franklin on the Occasion of 
xeptance of the North Caroliniana Society Award for 2005 
21 May 2005 

North Carolina Conundrum 


John Hope Franklin 

Together with Tributes to John Hope Franklin on the Occasion of 
His Acceptance of the North Caroliniana Society Award for 2005 

21 May 2005 


H. G.Jones, General Editor, Nos. 1-38 

No. 1. An Evening at Monticello: An Essay in Reflection (1978) 
by Edwin M. Gill 

No. 2. The Paul Green I Know (1978) 
by Elizabeth Lay Green 

No. 3. The Albert Coates I Know (1 979) 
by Gladys Hall Coates 

No. 4. The Sam Ervin I Know (1980) 
by Jean Conyers Ervin 

No. 5. Sam Ragan (1981) 
by Neil Morgan 

No. 6. Thomas Wolfe of North Carolina (1982) 
edited by H. G. Jones 

No. 7. Gertrude Sprague Carraway (1982) 
by Sam Ragan 

No. 8. John Fries Blair (1983) 
by Margaret Blair McCuiston 

No. 9. William Clyde Friday and Ida Howell Friday (1984) 
by Georgia Carroll Kyser and William Brandev Aycock 

No. 10. William S. Powell, Historian (1985) 
bv David Stick and William C. Fridav 

No. 1 1 . "Gallantry Unsurpassed" (1 985) 
edited by Archie K. Davis 

No. 12. Mary and Jim Semans, North Carolinians (1986) 
bv W. Kenneth Goodson 

No. 13. The High Water Mark (1986) 
edited by Archie K. Davis 

No. 14. Raleigh andQuinn: The Explorer and His Boswell (1987) 
edited by H. G. Jones 

No. 15. A Half Century in Coastal History (1987) 
bv David Stick 

No. 16. Thomas Wolfe at Eighty-seven (1988) 
edited bv H. G. Jones 

No. 17. A Third of a Century in Senate Cloakrooms (1988) 
bv William McWhorter Cochrane 

No. 18. The Emma Xeal Morrison I Know (1989) 
by Ida Howell Friday 

No. 19. Thomas Wolfe's Composition Books (1990) 
edited bv Alice R. Cotten 

[continued on inside back cover] 

North Carolina Conundrum 


John Hope Franklin 

Together with Tributes to John Hope Franklin on the Occasion of 
His Acceptance of the North Caroliniana Society Award for 2005 

21 May 2005 

Chapel Hill 27514-8890 

North Caroliniana Society 



Number 38 
H. G.Jones, General Editor, Nos. 1-38 

This edition is limited to 

five hundred numbered copies 

oj which this is number 

■* n n 

Photo Credits: Jan G. Hensley— Title page, 12 (both), 17 (right), 27, 30 (bottom), 31 
(all), 34 (all). Jerry C. Cotten— Front cover, 3, 17 (left), 26, 30 (top), 32 (all), 33 (all). 
Sonny Sikes — 35. H. G. Jones — 14. fill Sahl and Jason Tomberlin of the North Carolina 
Collection's staff assisted the secretary in the production of this Imprint. 

Copyright © 2005 by 

North Caroliniana Society 

UNC Campus Box 3930, Wilson Library 

Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27514-8890 

Email: hgionesda), email, unc. edu 

Http:l I www, ncsociety. org 

All rights reserved 

Manufactured in the United States of America 


N ? 


North Carolina Conundrum 

John Hope Franklin 

Delivered before the North Caroliniana Society Members and Friends 
The William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Fducation 
Chapel Hill, on 21 May 2005 

Dr. John Hope Franklin 

[Even a shrunken biographical sketch of John Hope Franklin would 
require several pages; here is simply a selection from various sources. 
Readers await the publication of his full autobiography in Autumn 2005.] 

Historian, educator, author, diplomat. Born Rentiesville, Oklahoma, January 
2, 1915, the son of Buck Colbert and Mollie Parker Franklin. Married Aurelia E. 
Whittington of Goldsboro, North Carolina, June 11, 1940 (she died January 27, 1999); 
one son, John Whittington Franklin. A.B., Fisk University, 1935; A.M., 1936, Ph.D., 
1 941 , Harvard University. Holds record number of honorary degrees — more than 1 35 
and counting. Taught history at Fisk University, 1936-37; St. Augustine's College, 
1939-43; North Carolina College at Durham, 1943-47; Howard University, 1947-56; 
Brooklyn College, 1956-64; University of Chicago, 1964-82; Duke University, 1982-92. 
Visiting professor at (among others) Elizabeth City State, Shaw, San Francisco, 
Washington and Lee, Cambridge, Harvard, Wisconsin, Cornell, Salzburg, Hawaii, and 
California. Fulbright professor in Australia and Zimbabwe, consultant on American 
education for the Soviet Union, lecturer in American history in China. 

Dr. Franklin's books include The Free Negro in North Carolina; From Slavery to 
Freedom: A History of African-Americans; The Militant South; Reconstruction After the Civil 
War, The Emancipation Proclamation; A Southern Odyssey; Racial Equality in America; George 
Washington Williams: A Biography; Race and History; The Color Eine: Eegacyfor the Twenty -first 
Century; and (with others), Eandofthe Free: A History of the United States; Illustrated History 
of Black Americans; and Runaway Slaves: Rebels on the Plantation. With his son, John 
Whittington Franklin, he also edited his father's autobiography, My Eife and an Era. 
He has produced scores of edited works, chapters, and published articles and 
addresses. Professional offices include the presidency of American Studies 
Association, Southern Historical Association, Organization of American Historians, 
American Historical Association, and United Chapters of Phi Beta Kappa. He served 
as chairman of the Advisory Board to One America: The President's Initiative on 
Race. Among other chairmanships or memberships have been the President's 
Advisory Commissions on Public Diplomacy and Ambassadorial Appointments, 
Board of Foreign Scholarships, National Council on the Humanities, and Advisory 
Board of the National Park Service. Honors and recognitions have included the 
Presidential Medal of Freedom, Charles Frankel Prize in the Humanities, Bruce Catton 
Award of the Society of American Historians, Clarence L. Hoke Literary Prize, 
Cleanth Brooks Medal, Lincoln Prize, NAACP's Spingarn Medal, Helmerich 
Distinguished Author Award, North Carolina Award for Public Service, John Tyler 
Caldwell Award of the North Carolina Humanities Council, and now the North 
Caroliniana Society Award for 2005. His name is perpetuated in awards, scholarships, 
and fellowships in various institutions, in the John Hope Franklin Awards for 
Excellence in Higher Education, and in buildings such as the John Hope and Aurelia 
Franklin Library at Fisk University. 

A passionate orchid breeder and cultivator, his and his late wife's names are 
perpetuated in hybrids, Phalaenopsisjohn Hope Franklin and Phalaenopsis Aurelia Franklin. 

North Carolina Conundrum 

John Hope Franklin 

For the last seventy-five years or so North Carolina has been both a 
challenge and a source of wonder to me. I attempted to nudge out of my first 
college date, Aurelia Whittington who was from North Carolina, just what the 
place was like. Her demure reply was that it was a wonderful place to call 
home. Over the next nine years, up to the time we married and lived together 
until her death almost sixty years later, her reply to my persistent query was the 
same that she gave the very first time I raised the question. In the spring of 
my freshman year, I visited the state for the first time, and although I got no 
farther east than Kings Mountain where I attended a Y.M.C.A. conference, my 
impression merely confirmed what Aurelia had said — that it was a wonderful 
place to call home. Early on, I agreed with her, but even the agreement did 
not tell me or anyone else what North Carolina was really like. My curiosity 
was based on the fact that I was in search of a place that I could really call 
home. It was most difficult for me to call Oklahoma my home, although I 
was born there. When I was six years old the race riot in Tulsa resulted in the 
destruction of my father's law office and the home into which we were to 
move at the very time the riot occurred. I lived in Tulsa until I graduated from 
high school, but from the time I left the state to attend college in Tennessee, 
I was in search for a home. Perhaps that is why I persisted in asking Aurelia 
what North Carolina was like. 

The next time I visited the state was during the summer of 1937, 
when I took the summer off from graduate work to teach at North Carolina 
A. and T. College in Greensboro. I must admit that the two months stint 
during that summer was not motivated by my desire to learn more about the 
state but by the fact that Aurelia was attending summer session there in order 
to re -validate her teaching certificate and I wanted to reestablish my 
connection with her. Moreover, I very much needed to replenish my already 
depleted financial resources. This gave me an opportunity to earn a little cash, 
to enjoy the warm and genial hospitality of North Carolinians in Greensboro, 
and to visit Raleigh and Goldsboro, Aurelia's home. At the end of the 
summer, in making an appraisal, I said to myself, "Not at all bad." 

In the final year of my residency in Cambridge, I began to cast around 
for a dissertation topic. I was intrigued by British history and by the graduate 
students at Harvard who were dashing off to London, by steamships in those 
days, to do research in the British Museum, Cambridge, and Oxford, and to 


spend their holidays in the Cotswolds and East Anglia. Having borrowed 
$500 from my white professor-friend at Fisk to enter Harvard and having had 
to wash dishes for my meals during my first year there — before I proved 
worthy of a fellowship — Britain was no closer to me than the moon or 
perhaps even Mars. I had no space suit or other resources to make it to Mars 
or to London. Perhaps a more practical subject would be something closer to 

I had become interested in free Negroes when I did a senior honors 
paper for my professor-benefactor at Fisk; and perhaps I could do a doctoral 
dissertation on free Negroes in, say, some southern state. Maryland had the 
largest number, some eighty thousand, but someone had already written on 
Maryland's free Negroes. Virginia had the next largest number, fifty thousand, 
but I learned that Luther P. Jackson was doing that state for a dissertation at 
the University of Chicago. What about North Carolina, I wondered. Only a 
brief paper had been written on free Negroes in the Tar Heel State. The thirty 
thousand free Negroes in North Carolina were just waiting for me! I hoped 
that Aurelia was also waiting, although by this time she was also in graduate 
school in library science at Hampton. But Hampton was closer to North 
Carolina than Tulsa or Cambridge. Meanwhile, I would have a better 
opportunity to find out just what North Carolina was really like! 

I was not prepared for the segregation that greeted me at the North 
Carolina archives where I presented myself to do research in March of 1939. 
When I had worked on free Negroes in the antebellum South for my honors 
paper at Fisk, the state archives in Nashville had not been segregated. But in 
Raleigh I had to wait for several days until they provided a separate place for 
me to work. They were most gracious about the entire arrangement, and had 
I been less sensitive, I would have expressed appreciation for the indignity that 
was my lot. But I was mortified, although I kept my counsel. I particularly 
resented the fact that, although I had free rein of the stacks, it was because the 
white pages presumably would not serve me. Soon, the white researchers 
protested my free use of the stacks, arguing that they could not, apparentiy 
because they could be served by the pages. The officials were most apologetic 
and gracious when they asked me to surrender my key to the stacks. From 
that point on, I received no special treatment and was obliged to make a 
request for one document at a time, as the white researchers were required to 
do. I could only conclude that the white North Carolinians whom I 
encountered were charming even in their segregationist practices and that I 
should be even more sensitive to their blandishments lest I be taken in by their 
smooth talk and gracious manners. 

It bothered me on subsequent research trips to such places as 
Alabama that there was no segregation in the state archives and that the 
director, although she called me a Harvard "nigger," insisted that I must 


receive absolutely equal treatment there or she must know the reason why. 
This Alabama experience placed me in an even greater quandary regarding 
Southern etiquette and how, when, and where it was applied. By this time I 
had taken up residence in North Carolina and had no immediate plans to live 
elsewhere. Even in the face of the humiliations I experienced in the state, I 
found myself making excuses for its derelictions and shortcomings. 

It was the charm that I had to watch. For example, when Governor 
Gregg Cherry came to North Carolina College to speak at the vesper services, 
he committed the gross error of pronouncing "Negro" in a way that showed 
that he was not at all accustomed to using the term. After saying "nigra" for 
a third or fourth time, students began to shuffle their feet, cough audibly, and 
make loud groans. Finally, some of them began to walk out of the auditorium. 
At the close of the program, the governor asked President James Shepard 
what was wrong with the students and why were they reacting in a hostile 
manner to what he was saying. Dr. Shepard was frank to say to him that the 
students resented the way he pronounced "Negro." The governor was taken 
aback and extracted from Dr. Shepard an invitation to return at a later date. 
In due course the governor returned, apologi2ed to the students and avoided 
the racial description as much as he could. When he was unable to avoid it, 
he would take a deep breath and then pronounce the word "Kneegrow" in 
such a way that there could not possibly be a misunderstanding of his 
pronunciation. By the end of the program, both the students and the 
governor were greatly amused by his desire to reach out to the students in a 
"good-faith effort" to understand their desire for respect. Such an experience 
made them and me feel better about calling North Carolina home. 

It was not enough, however, for a governor to make apology for a 
previous gaffe or for Governor Hoey to meet and greet people on his stroll 
down Fayetteville Street and share his package of salted peanuts with anyone, 
including black pedestrians, he happened to meet. I suppose that North 
Carolina etiquette permitted whites and blacks to share food as long as they 
were not sitting down together. It was all so confusing. More importantly, 
southern public policy, North Carolina public policy, also had to reflect a 
willingness to give people a chance, regardless of race, to climb out of the 
basement up to the first floor, even if there was a clearly defined ceiling to 
which African Americans were not to aspire, at least for the time being. This 
was best illustrated, I think, in the North Carolina office of Negro welfare, 
located not in the state welfare office, but in the Delany Building on Hargett 
Street. The occupant of the office for many years was my dear friend John 
Larkins, who traveled throughout the state but before he could make final 
decisions on a policy matter, he had to go up to the state welfare office and 
confer with his white superior. Anyone who raised questions about such an 
arrangement was reminded that the separation gave the appearance that 


Larkins was his own man, had his own office, and paid office rent to an 
African American physician who owned the building. 

As I continued to live in North Carolina and to study its traditions 
and folkways, I could not resist the temptation to solve the problem of what 
I began to call the North Carolina conundrum. While teaching at St. 
Augustine's College, an institution affiliated with the Protestant Episcopal 
Church, I hoped to find an answer to the questions in my mind by studying 
the operations of that institution within the framework of the church and 
under the auspices of what was called the American Church Institute for 
Negroes. I even went back and studied the founding of the institution where 
I was teaching and sought answers to the question of whether it was founded 
to make certain that the newly freed people had every opportunity to rise as 
far as their talents and circumstances could take them or to salve the 
consciences of the white founders and their associates. I learned that the 
patronizing that I experienced as a young teacher there (there were no 
academic ranks during my four years there from 1 939) had its roots in 1 867 
when the college was founded. There was this strange combination of limited 
civility, deep religious proselytizing, and carefully defining the place of students 
and faculty in the community. 

Times changed, but not much. Thus, seventy-two years after its 
founding, when I became the first member of the faculty to receive the Ph.D. 
degree, the white president called me in not to congratulate me but to warn me 
that my academic achievement (he did not call it that) did not mean that I was 
any better than my peers and I should make no presumptions about my status 
simply because I could add a few more letters behind my name. I do not 
know what effect he hoped that his words of caution or even disapprobation 
would have on me. Whatever he hoped for, he did not achieve. I pitied him 
for not knowing why I had sought and had achieved some advanced training. 
I very much hope and believe that my students knew, even if he did not. But 
the whole enterprise was one of condescension apparently calculated to make 
one feel both inferior and fortunate. I felt fortunate to have the opportunity 
to teach students who were eager to learn, but I did not feel inferior to him or 
to those for whom he presumably spoke. 

Despite these encounters with what some would call reality, I 
managed not only to make an adjustment to the Carolina climate but to 
develop some attachment to the state. I found myself hurrying to return when 
we had been away for a few weeks or a summer. I discovered what it was like 
to be called a "Tar Heel" and not wince. I took pride in the things I wrote 
about North Carolina, whether it was about the antebellum years, 
Reconstruction, or some developments in the twentieth century. I often 
attempted to analyze the feeling, to dissect it, even to upbraid myself for being 
so accepting of the state, its communities and its folkways. 


There were substantial reasons for my growing affinity for the state. 
There were some North Carolinians whose conduct and attitude repelled me, 
while the demeanor of others drew me closer to them and to the state. When 
the Raleigh recruiter of the United States Navy rejected my application to be 
a volunteer after the destruction of Pearl Harbor by telling me that I had all 
of the qualifications except color, it was Dr. Frank Porter Graham, president 
of the University of North Carolina, who sought unsuccessfully to intercede 
on my behalf. When the president of St. Augustine's College refused to appeal 
to my draft board for a deferment in 1943, claiming that military discipline 
would be good for me and would teach me to hang up my clothes, I turned 
to Dr. James A. Shepard, president of the North Carolina College for Negroes, 
not only for employment but for protection if my name came before the draft 
appeal board on which he sat. He not only employed me and my wife but 
assured me that in the interest of the effort of the United States to achieve 
victory over its enemies, I should by all means be kept out of the armed forces! 
There was, moreover, the thoughtful generosity of members of the staff of the 
State Department of Archives and History whose director recommended the 
publication of my dissertation by the University of North Carolina Press. 
Then, there were the librarians at Duke University and the University of North 
Carolina, and my colleagues at the North Carolina College for Negroes and my 
friends at Duke and Carolina who extended a collegial hand even before it was 
the correct thing to do. 

When we left Durham for Howard University in 1947, we found 
ourselves coming back to North Carolina whenever possible. It was not that 
Aurelia was all that anxious to return to Goldsboro to visit her parents. It 
was, in part, because we found that Washington, D.C. was no more attractive 
to African Americans than Durham and Chapel Hill. If I was doing research 
at the Library of Congress on a weekend, when the luncheon facilities at the 
Supreme Court and the Methodist building were closed, the nearest place I 
could get anything to eat was at the Union Station, three quarters of a mile 
away. One could not even entertain the notion of dining in a hotel or taking 
lodgings in downtown Washington. As far as cultural attractions were 
concerned, the big debate when we arrived in Washington was whether 
African Americans should be permitted to attend concerts at the Lisner 
Auditorium at George Washington University. The answer was a resounding 
"NO!" Beyond the black community, our social and professional ties were 
with a few white professionals at Georgetown and George Washington 
Universities and the University of Maryland, not unlike our experiences in 
Durham. Even when we moved in 1956 "up North" to New York, where I 
was chairman of the all-white history department at Brooklyn College, the 
hostility to our attempting to purchase a home near the college was so great 
and so protracted that I had sufficient material to write a monograph on 


redlining and housing discrimination in New York City. North Carolina never 
looked so good as through the prism of a New York experience. 

When we moved to the University of Chicago in 1964, conditions for 
an African American family were better than they had been during our eight- 
year sojourn in the Big Apple, thanks in part to the civil rights movement and 
the passage of civil rights legislation. We became a part of the social and 
cultural life of the city. I had no difficulty purchasing a home near the 
university, and I was invited to join the best clubs in the city. Aurelia was 
welcomed into various civic and social groups in which she expressed an 
interest. None of these new and pleasant experiences stood in the way of 
visiting North Carolina whenever we had an opportunity. One experience was 
particularly pleasing. In 1967 I brought my students in my doctoral seminar 
to Raleigh to work in the same archives where a segregated place had been 
prepared for me almost three decades earlier. At this time the welcome mat 
was displayed in every conceivable way. This time I had a special office, but 
it was for the purpose of being able to consult with my students in comfort 
and privacy. Meanwhile, the search room that previously had been off limits 
to me was where my students worked and where I could supervise them 
whenever necessary. The staff gave a huge dinner party 7 for us, and the 
lieutenant governor, Bob Scott, had us to lunch. The state archivist urged me 
to return annually, but by that time I had become chairman of the department, 
and the pressure of work precluded any such sojourns in the future. 

Even if I did not return to North Carolina with my class, Aurelia and 
I continued to visit the state. By this time her mother was living with us; and 
because of her advanced age our mobility was significantly affected. 
Consequendy, when we did venture to North Carolina, as we did whenever 
possible, it was a testimony to our abiding attachment to the place. And as we 
saw the changes taking place, especially in race relations, we were immensely 
pleased, regardless of who claimed responsibility or credit. As retirement 
approached and as we were determined to leave Chicago, where the climate 
never suited us, we did not debate where we should spend the remainder of our 
days. Consequendy, as though it was a given, we began to discuss not where 
we would retire to but when we should move to North Carolina. We would 
return to Durham, of course, and we would move there in the summer of 
1980, not long after my 65 th birthday. Despite the fact that I had these various 
reservations about North Carolina that placed it in the category of a 
conundrum, I did not hesitate to join Aurelia in returning to her native state. 
I could think of no place about which we did not have some reservations. The 
thing for us to do was to cast our lot with the place that attracted us and join 
with others to make it better, even ideal. My long-time secretary, Margaret 
Fitzsimmons, felt the same way and was willing to come with us. With both 
of my parents deceased, my older sister assumed the role of matriarch of the 


family and could not understand why we did not move to Oklahoma. I simply 
told her that the Oklahoma conundrum was even more difficult to understand 
than that of North Carolina. 

When our son learned that we were moving to North Carolina, he was 
certain that we had completely "lost it." Shortly after we moved to Durham, 
he arrived from Senegal, where he had been living for several years. He was 
born in Washington, D.C. and grew up in New York and Chicago. When he 
finally found Durham on the map, he was distressed for his poor parents who 
must have gone over the line prematurely. When he arrived, he seemed 
surprised to find us not in a pup tent or cabin of sorts but in a two-story brick 
Williamsburg colonial with five bedrooms and five baths. He wondered what 
the neighborhood was like. Not like Brooklyn, we assured him. Neighbors 
on both sides, both white, had called to bring flowers and to welcome us. The 
orthopedic surgeon and his wife across the street had called, brought flowers 
and a cake and volunteered to assist us in settling in. Our son was impressed 
when he met our neighbors. Aurelia took him shopping at one of the gourmet 
markets, and he was astounded to find his favorite French wine there, one that 
he had difficulty finding even in Francophone Senegal. Since his birthday was 
approaching and we were delighted to take him out to dinner, we asked him 
where he would like to go. He wondered if there was a Chinese restaurant 
anywhere in the area. Perhaps I laid it on just a bit when I calmly asked him 
what region of Chinese cuisine he would desire. Well, that did it! He seemed 
assured that we would survive in Durham, and he returned to Senegal for two 
more years, fully confident that we had not gone over the line. 

We did more than survive. We thrived. And as we setded down, I 
learned to make peace with the "North Carolina Conundrum." Shordy before 
moving to North Carolina I had come to the state to receive an honorary 
degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and to arrange for 
my two-year fellowship at the National Humanities Center at whose 
dedication I had spoken two years earlier. Bill and Ida Friday had extended 
a warm welcome to us even before we moved, and just before we left Chicago 
he called to make certain that everything was in order. When we were here 
house-hunting the previous winter, Bob and Anne Durden of the Duke 
department of history had given us a welcome party at which they introduced 
us to many of their friends. In due course we were deluged with expressions 
and manifestations of welcome from every part of the Durham community. 
We began to affiliate with various organizations and institutions in the 
community and state and began to feel that we belonged to North Carolina. 
I joined the candlelight peace vigil in downtown Durham. I worked hard to 
get Jim Hunt elected to the United States Senate when he ran against Jesse 
Helms. The victory of Helms was a piece of the North Carolina conundrum 
that I still did not understand. On the other hand, one white graduate student 


said that if I would run for the Senate in opposition to Jesse Helms, he would 
abandon his graduate studies and work for my victory. While that was a 
gallant offer, I could not accept it, for my talents, if I had any, lay elsewhere. 
I contributed my resources and efforts to support the community by joining 
various groups that sought to make the neighborhood and the city better. 
Two years later, I joined the faculty of Duke University and used my voice and 
what influence I had to argue for a stable downtown Durham and to oppose 
the increase of shopping malls that our modest population could not support. 

After I became a resident of Durham and a citizen of the state, I 
began to work in earnest on the "North Carolina Conundrum." As I 
attempted to get in step with what was transpiring, I began to realize that the 
conundrum was merely the confusion that resulted from attempting to get into 
the soul of the state and being able to define one's relationship to it. The state 
had its imperfections as did, indeed, other political and social entities. I 
reached the conclusion that North Carolina was not so much a conundrum as 
it was a work in progress. Those who resisted change brought the same 
charm, imagination, and resistance that they brought to other efforts and 
enterprises. They could be admirably resourceful and charming even in 
resisting change. Indeed, the soul of the state, and the embodiment of what 
it could become, was the conundrum not unlike the "puzzlement" used by the 
monarch in "The King and I" to describe his predicament. It was a 
puzzlement that presented a challenge more than a frustration. 

To meet the challenge, I would enter into every undertaking that 
would move the Tar Heel State closer to its expressed ideals and closer to 
what I dreamed it could become. When I became a member of the Order of 
the Long Leaf Pine into which Governor Hunt inducted me in 1995, 1 used 
that as an incentive to push ahead in my humble way the dream of equality for 
all Tar Heels. When I received the North Carolina Medal, I could use that as 
an inspiration to assist in uplifting the citizenry young and old, black and 
white, rich and poor. When the News <& Observer cited me as Tar Heel of the 
Year in 1999, 1 was inspired to work even harder to make this state the place 
of my fondest dreams. Even if I had not been inspired to dream big dreams 
for our beloved state, I would hope that I would appreciate fully that the 
solution to the conundrum is within the reach of each and every person 
residing in the state. It can be solved by the simple process of everyone 
working together to make the state better than our wildest dreams could ever 
conceive it to be. The thing to remember above all else is that smugness 
clouds one's judgment and prevents one's understanding that whatever 
achievements there are, we remain far from the truly good society. If we wish 
to realize it, we must continue to work on the conundrum, as a work in 
progress, realizing that its solution may still be in the distant future. 


Tributes to John Hope Franklin 


H. G.Jones 

Eric D. Anderson 

Alfred A. Moss, Jr. 

Willis P. Whichard 

Delivered at a banquet Honoring John Hope Franklin on his acceptance 

of the North Caroliniana Society Award, William and Ida Friday Center, 

Chapel Hill, 21 May 2005 

In top photo, Dr. Franklin embraces his former students and collaborators, Dr. Eric D. 
Anderson and Dr. Al Moss, who spoke for the other 30 students who also earned their 
doctorates under his directorship. At bottom he poses with Justice Willis P. Whichard, 
president of the Society, and Dr. H. G. Jones, its secretary. 

Introductory Remarks 

H. G. Jones 

Friends of John Hope Franklin, Friends of North Carolina: 

When you glance in your program at the list of recipients of the North 
Caroliniana Society Award, you may ask why this event has been so long time 
acomin'. There is a simple explanation. You see, we normally schedule our 
annual meetings in the spring during the very season when John Hope 
Franklin is jetting around the world giving commencement addresses and 
collecting honorary degrees. He already has a record of nearly 150, so we look 
forward to the next ten years, when the count reaches 200 — two for each year 
of his remarkable life. An aspiring young photographer could become famous 
by persuading Dr. Franklin to pose in the colorful academic regalia of every 
institution that has honored itself by bestowing upon him an honorary degree. 
Museums would remove Picassos and Monets for such an exhibition 
recognizing a young man who arrived in 1939 at St. Augustine's College in 
Raleigh and who never really left North Carolina, the home of his wonderful 
wife Aurelia, who is with us in spirit tonight. Dr. Franklin already holds our 
state's highest honors, so we are simply latecomers in sharing him again with 
his and our fellow North Carolinians. 

Only a few of you really know how fortunate we are to have Dr. 
Franklin in our midst tonight, for on this very day — this very hour — he would 
otherwise be in Washington personally conferring the John Hope Franklin 
Awards for Distinguished Contributions to Higher Education. We miss his 
son, John Whittington Franklin of the Smithsonian Institution, but we 
appreciate John's willingness to stand in for his father at the Washington gala. 
John Hope, when John called last week to explain his absence, he described 
in emotional terms the honor that he felt recendy when you and he posed 
during your 70 th graduation anniversary in front of Fisk University's library 
that is so appropriately named for you and Aurelia. Ladies and gentlemen, 
please show Dr. Franklin our gratitude for giving up the national spotlight to 
stay with us home folks. 

We are glad to have back several of the former recipients of the North 
Caroliniana Society Award. Will each stand, remain standing, and will the 
audience withhold applause: President Friday, Mary Semans, and Betty Kenan 
sent their deep regret for having conflicting engagements during this busy 
spring season. 


William S. Powell and his Virginia, John Sanders and his Ann, Carlyle 
Sitterson's Nancy, Trent Ragland and his Anna, and, finally, that remarkable 
lady who nearly three-quarters of a century ago gave North Carolina the first 
state-supported symphony orchestra in the nation, now well into her own 
second century of a charmed life, Maxine Swalin. Please welcome them. 
Thank you. 

Now please give thanks in your own way and enjoy dinner, after 
which we will hear more about this remarkable man. 

[Dinner followed.] 

Although they may be irritants for the casual reader, footnotes are 
essential tools in the historian's trade. One exasperated reviewer referred to 
a professor's learned paper as being "a riverlet of prose trickling through a 
meadow of footnotes." Now, John Hope's 1967 odyssey to North Carolina 
with his seminar, which he described this afternoon, requires no footnotes, but 
just to emphasize our respect for the primary sources, I wish to supply three 
from an unimpeachable original source, my diary, now in its 68 th year. The 
first two will never make the printed page, but on the evening of January 30, 
1967, the intellectual glow generated by Professor Franklin and his seminar of 
bright young scholars lit up my neighborhood on Van Dyke Avenue, and three 
months later in Chicago my humble hospitality was returned a hundred- fold 
when I was given the rare privilege of entering his and Aurelia's magical orchid 
garden atop their lovely townhouse. Between those dates, on February 2, John 
Hope Franklin paid me one of the highest compliments to which few could 
ever aspire: He joined Chris Crittenden and Fred Coker in signing as a witness 
my Last Will and Testament. I have instructed my executor to auction on the 
internet the original of his signature, but only after it has served its legal 

in witness whereof, I set my hand and seal at Raleigh, North Carolina, 
this 2nd day of February, one thousand nine hundred sirty-seven. 

/u*mj>£l ^nynw Y/VlC 

Signed, sealed, published, and declared to be the last will and testament of 
Houston GwynneJones, in the presence of us, who at his request, in his presence, 
and in ine presence of each other, have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses, 
on the 2nd day of February, one thousand nine hundred sixty-seven. 

£g— gyg QZrftn.r.£- ^ 

The third footnote really does need to be preserved in print. On 
January 31, 1967, 1 took Dr. Franklin and his graduate students to lunch with 
the then lieutenant governor. The students took delight in a political repartee 


on several issues, but the subject eventually got around to North Carolina's 
public colleges, still agonizingly slow in overcoming the legacy of segregation. 
The lieutenant governor observed that, because of tight budgets and the 
dominance of alumni of two large universities in the General Assembly, there 
would probably be efforts to shut down several of the "weaker" state colleges. 
Dr. Franklin recognized immediately the reference to the historically black 
institutions. A big fist banged the table twice, followed by the professor's 
remonstrance: "No, no, governor. That is not the way to do it." John Hope 
Franklin, in his firm but respectful manner, gave a little lecture on the 
importance of those institutions to our minority population and urged that the 
state, far from abandoning them, seek to elevate them to equal status among 
the tax-supported colleges. Robert W. Scott was elected governor the 
following year, and he never forgot that lesson. A legacy of his administration 
was a concerted effort to equalize educational opportunities among the state's 
colleges. For a single example of that legacy, we need only to look a few miles 
across New Hope Creek to North Carolina Central University, and contrast 
its status in 1945, when John Hope Franklin was a young professor there, with 
its academic standing 60 years later. Dr. Franklin, on that day in the Tap 
Room, you and Governor Scott changed the course of educational history in 
North Carolina, and it is inspiring to see you, Bob, and Jessie Rae here 
together again. Thank you, Governor Scott, for helping us commemorate that 
historic occasion. 

For those who are unfamiliar with the North Caroliniana Society, 
that's the way we like it, for our motto is "Substance, not Show." You did not 
see this event advertised because we want our awards to be presented in the 
presence of family and friends of the recipient. With a magnifying glass you 
can learn more about the Society from the printed program, but if you will be 
patient until fall, you will receive through the mail one of our North Caroliniana 
Society Imprints carrying all of today's proceedings, including Dr. Franklin's 
afternoon address and the extended remarks of tonight's speakers. 

Imagine how many prominent Americans — from scholars to 
statesmen — would have felt honored to come to Chapel Hill and speak about 
John Hope Franklin tonight. But in keeping with that motto, "Substance, not 
Show," we selected — from among many who love, and are loved by, our 
recipient — two, each of whom has a special relationship with Dr. Franklin. 
Not only are our speakers protegees of John Hope Franklin; they have 
partnered both with him and with each other in major scholarly productions. 
I find it particularly significant that each, while participating regularly in his 
profession through teaching, writing, speaking, holding professional offices, 
and winning national attention for his scholarly contributions, has maintained 
a 30-year loyalty to his employing institution — Dr. Anderson's Pacific Union 
College and Dr. Moss's University of Maryland. Such affection and allegiance 


to one's employer are rare in the academy these days. And to make their 
appearance together tonight even more meaningful for our state, both are 
recipients of Archie K. Davis Fellowships, among 240 such fellowships that 
the North Caroliniana Society has granted since they were established in 1987 
in honor of our longtime president, Archie Davis, whose name, like that of 
Dr. Franklin, is indelibly associated with the National Humanities Center. 
Drs. Anderson and Moss will speak for all of the scholars and colleagues who 
have in the past 70 years come under the life-changing influence of Dr. 
Franklin. Following them without further introduction will be the 
distinguished president of the North Caroliniana Society, Justice Willis P. 
Whichard, the only person ever to serve in both houses of our General 
Assembly and on both of our appellate courts, and who now presides as Dean 
of the Law School at Campbell University. 

Dr. Eric D. Anderson is certainly no stranger to North Carolina. 
Though a midwesterner in origin and a California resident for more than half 
his life, his research under Dr. Franklin at the University of Chicago led him 
to North Carolina, and his doctoral dissertation, published by LSU Press in 
1981 as Race and Politics in North Carolina, 1 872-1 901 : The Black Second, provided 
a model for later studies of that incomparable period of racial progress before 
Josephus Daniels, Furnifold Simmons, and their racist Red Shirt Democrats 
revoked virtually every civil right of our Negro citizens. No wonder the book 
was nominated for three national awards (fohn H. Dunning Prize, National 
Historical Society Book Prize, and the Charles S. Sydnor Award). More 
recendy Eric Anderson has collaborated with Al Moss in publishing Dangerous 
Donations: Northern Philanthropy and Southern Black Education, 1902-1930, in which 
again North Carolina figures prominently. Intriguingly, I see among his many 
scholarly essays subjects like Darwinism, Millerism, Millenarianism, Populism, 
and Prostitution, which, though I have not probed their connection, I hope, 
will not be his subject tonight. We are glad to welcome back Dr. Eric 

[Professor Anderson's address begins on page 18. J 

Dr. Alfred A. Moss, Jr., came under the influence of John Hope 
Franklin from a different background — starting in European and Russian 
history and progressing to theology, church history, and human rights. An 
ordained priest in the Protestant Episcopal Church, his ecumenicalism is 
rather startlingly proven in the number of trusteeships that he holds in 
seminaries of other denominations. In addition to his Episcopalian affiliation, 
I believe I can count Lutherans, Presbyterians, Methodists, Catholics, and 
Baptists. How comforting to find a broad-minded historian in our 
universities! Al, we need you in Chapel Hill. 



Dr. Moss's first book, The American Negro Academy: Voice of the Talented 
Tenth, published by LSU Press, was also nominated for the John H. Dunning 
and National Historical Society prizes. Soon, he and Eric Anderson began 
their collaboration, first as editors of The Tacts oj Reconstruction: Essays in Honor 
of John Hope Franklin, which was recognized as an outstanding book on the 
subject of human rights in the United States. Later they published the 
previously mentioned study of northern philanthropy in the South, and Al has 
continued to contribute chapters, articles, and papers on a myriad of subjects. 

What greater honor than for a revered professor to select a former 
student to become his joint author of one of the great books of the century? 
In 1988, Dr. Franklin chose Al Moss for co-author of the sixth revision of his 
Trom Slavery to Freedom: A History of African Americans. That classic, now in its 
eighth edition, forever will be known as "Franklin and Moss." There sits the 
Franklin, and here comes the Moss. 

[Professor Moss's address begins on page 22.] 

The Speakers: Heft, Dr. Brie D. Anderson of Pacific Union College, Angwin, California, 
and right, Dr. Alfred A. Moss, Jr., of the University of Maryland at College Park. 

Recorder of Truth 

Eric D. Anderson 

There is some risk in honoring John Hope Franklin. 

A healthy man with a good memory, he has just written his 
autobiography. (In other words he has recently "reviewed the sources.") He 
is not, thank God, ready to be the passive recipient of a eulogy. Indeed, he 
may well speak up if anyone tonight is careless or hyperbolic or misinformed. 
He is certainly in no mood to be experimented on. 

At a scholarly conference people are impressed if you claim that the 
key to understanding some important historical figure is a stray fact no one has 
noticed until this very moment. As we praise this man and his achievement, 
John Hope will not let us get away with that. 

When I was a graduate student, I attended a dinner in honor of Dr. 
Franklin sponsored by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. I remember how 
irritated I was when a distinguished lawyer (a warrior in many noble batdes) 
introduced my mentor by saying something like this: "We really don't need to 
comment on the many books he has written." Such an introduction of a 
scholar was almost as bad as what the Duke of Gloucester is supposed to have 
said to Edward Gibbon upon the appearance of another volume of The Decline 
and Fall of the Roman Empire: "Always scribble, scribble, scribble, eh, Mr. 

We cannot pay tribute to John Hope Franklin tonight without 
bringing in the books (and the study and the teaching). 

The son of a lawyer and a schoolteacher, John Hope was born ninety 
years ago in the small, all-black village of Rentiesville, Oklahoma. Thanks to 
his mother, he received his first taste of a life of learning when he was three 
years old. "Since there were no day-care centers in the village where we lived," 
he remembers, "she had no alternative to taking me to school and seating me 
in the back where she could keep an eye on me." When he was about five, his 
mother noticed that he was no longer scribbling on the sheet of paper she 
gave him, but writing words and sentences. (And perhaps footnotes, too.) 

After studying in the public schools of Rentiesville and Tulsa, he 
enrolled at Fisk University, intending to prepare himself for a career in law. 
But under the influence of a stimulating history professor named Theodore S. 
Currier (a man who might be described by some people as a "Yankee do- 
gooder"), he changed to a history major. With Currier's strong 
encouragement, Franklin pursued graduate work at Harvard University, 


earning a doctorate in 1941. Looking back, he was distinctly underwhelmed 
by Harvard. "The course of study was satisfactory, but far from 
extraordinary," he commented in 1988. "Mark Hopkins was seldom on the 
other end of the log, and one had to fend for himself as best he could." His 
doctoral dissertation evolved into his first book, The Free Negro in North 
Carolina, 1 790- 1 860 (1 943) . 

Throughout his academic career, John Hope Franklin made his first 
priority the study and teaching of history. Though he eventually had many 
opportunities to leave the classroom, he had no difficulty, he later 
remembered, "in saying to anyone who raised the matter that I was not 
interested in deanships, university presidencies, or ambassadorships." This 
strong commitment to scholarship and teaching began with his first jobs after 
Harvard. At St. Augustine's College in Raleigh (1939-43) and North Carolina 
College for Negroes in Durham (1943-47), he managed to pursue extensive 
scholarly research while at the same time carrying the heavy teaching load 
characteristic of small liberal arts colleges. In 1947 he published his second 
book, From Slavery to Freedom: A History of American Negroes. Now in its eighth 
edition (with Franklin's former student Alfred A. Moss as co-author), From 
Slavery to Freedom has been both a seminal work of scholarship, helping to 
define the emerging field of African American history, and a remarkably 
successful textbook. 

He followed up this history of Negro Americans with a book that 
could have been called "A Study of the Souls of White Folk," but was actually 
entided The Militant South, 1800-1861. In it, Franklin described the Old South 
as distinctively touchy, honor-conscious, and militaristic. He then turned to 
a pressing issue of national history. Writing in 1961, amid the 
commemoration of the centennial of the Civil War, Franklin wrote an 
influential interpretative essay that challenged the then widely held view that 
the Civil War had ended in an era of "national disgrace." This book, 
Reconstruction: After the Civil War, gave him national prominence as one of the 
leading revisionists of Reconstruction historiography. 

Franklin moved in 1947 from North Carolina College for Negroes to 
Howard University, where he taught until 1956. When he accepted an 
appointment as chairman of the history department of Brooklyn College, the 
event was heralded on the front page of the New York Timer, no black historian 
had ever before held such a position in a predominantly white university. In 
1964, shortly after publishing his fifth book, The Emancipation Proclamation, he 
was invited to join the history faculty at the University of Chicago. 

"A major consideration," he says, in the move to Chicago was the 
opportunity to teach graduate students. "I realized that with all my frantic 
efforts at research and writing I would never be able to write on all the 
subjects in which I was deeply interested." In training a new generation of 


scholars, Franklin (as he put it) extended "immeasurably" his own sense of 
accomplishment. In eighteen years at the University of Chicago, he supervised 
32 doctoral dissertations. 

During the Chicago years, Professor Franklin was repeatedly honored 
by his scholarly peers, serving as president of the Southern Historical 
Association (1970), the Organization of American Historians (1975), Phi Beta 
Kappa (1973-76), and the American Historical Association (1979). He was 
selected as the Jefferson Lecturer of the National Endowment for the 
Humanities in 1976, publishing a revised version of his three lectures as Racial 
Equality in America. At the University of Chicago itself, he served four years 
as chairman of the history department and was appointed John Matthews 
Manly Distinguished Service Professor in 1969. 

He continued to be a prolific scholar, co-authoring a survey history 
of the United States (Land of the Free) and an illustrated history of black 
Americans; editing several important works, including the autobiography of 
Congressman John R. Lynch, and (with August Meier) a collection of articles 
on Black Leaders of the Twentieth Century; and writing another well-received 
monograph, A Southern Odyssey: Travelers in the Antebellum North (197 '6). He was 
undeterred even by retirement, first from the University of Chicago in 1982 
and then in 1985 from the James B. Duke Professorship at Duke University. 
He completed his long-gestating biography of George Washington Williams, 
nineteenth-century black historian, and continued his study of runaway slaves 
(which has recently been published with former student Loren Schweninger 
as co-author). In 1993 he wrote The Color Line: Legacy for the Twenty-First 
Century, which was built on W. E. B. Du Bois's prophecy that the problem of 
the twentieth century would be "the color line." In addition, he taught at 
Duke University Law School from 1985 to 1992. In 1993 he was awarded the 
Charles Frankel Prize for contributing to public understanding of the 
humanities. After his third alleged retirement, Dr. Franklin served as chairman 
of President Bill Clinton's Initiative on Race. 

Over the course of his long academic career, John Hope Franklin was 
a visiting professor at many universities, including Cambridge University; twice 
held Guggenheim fellowships; served as a Fulbright professor in Australia and 
Zimbabwe; and received honorary degrees from 135 colleges and universities. 

A man of strong political beliefs, Franklin once wrote: "I could not 
have avoided being a social activist even if I had wanted to." He played an 
important role in the historical research involved in the Brown vs. Board of 
Education case, served as an informal advisor to the Rev. Jesse Jackson, and 
actively campaigned against the confirmation of Judge Robert Bork to the 
Supreme Court. At the same time, he insisted that scholarship and politics 
must be kept separate and cautioned his fellow historians against the danger 
of allowing their concern for the "urgent matters of their own time" to distort 


their "view of an earlier period." Speaking to the American Historical 
Association in 1979, he warned against a "zeal for revision" that might 
become a "substitute for truth and accuracy." 

Allow me a very personal comment. 

As a white scholar who has spent his academic career studying black 
politics and black education, I deeply appreciate John Hope Franklin's defense 
of the idea that "men and women should be judged stricdy on the basis of 
their work and not on the basis of their race or the color of their skin," as he 
wrote in 1986. If African American history "is a valid area of intellectual 
inquiry," he added, "it cannot be segregated by sex, religion, or race." Or, as 
he said even more blundy in 1963, the view that there is "some 'mystique' 
about Negro studies" was akin to "the view that there was some 'mystique' 
about Negro spirituals, which required that a person possess a black skin in 
order to sing them. This was not scholarship; it was folklore, it was voodoo." 

Dr. Franklin has always defended what he called "a basic principle of 
scholarship — namely, that given the materials and the techniques of 
scholarship and given the mental capacity, any person" can "engage in the 
study of any particular field." 

Despite the efforts of both admirers and critics, he has resisted being 
characterized as a "black historian," writing solely on African American topics, 
or as a scholar who wished to present "a Negro view" of the South, slavery, 
or Reconstruction. He calls himself an American historian and insists that 
"Afro-American history should be recognized as a centerpiece — an 
adornment, if you will — of the history of the United States." 

Like George Washington Williams whom he studied, John Hope 
Franklin can say: "Not as a blind panegyrist of my race, not as a partisan 
apologist, but for a love of 'the truth oj history' I have striven to record the truth. 
. . . My whole aim has been to write a thoroughly trustworthy history." 

Let us honor John Hope Franklin, trustworthy historian, recorder of 

Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding 

Alfred A. Moss, Jr. 

I am honored to be one of those invited to say a few words this 
evening in tribute to Dr. John Hope Franklin. For this privilege I thank Dr. 
Franklin, Dr. H. G. Jones, and the officers and members of the North 
Caroliniana Society. 

Permit me to begin with a brief history of my earliest encounters with 
Dr. Franklin. I first became aware of Dr. Franklin while still a boy, initially 
through comments made by my parents in praise of his writings. Both my 
father and my mother were serious students of African American history. As 
an undergraduate during the early 1960s, and while a student in divinity school 
in the mid- 1 960s, I read Dr. Franklin's books and articles, becoming ever more 
appreciative of the great work he was doing, both as a scholar and as a public 

Shortly after I arrived at the University of Chicago in 1968 to take up 
my duties as an Episcopal chaplain, I met Dr. Franklin for the first time and, 
with fascination, began to watch him from afar. Even though we had been 
introduced and were sometimes present at the same meetings and gatherings, 
he did not know me. Attending his public lectures and occasionally sitting in 
on classes he taught, I quickly became aware that he is as brilliant a teacher as 
he is a scholar. What also impressed me was his greatness as a human 
being — his personal and financial generosity toward worthy causes and his 
deep, genuine, caring interest in the welfare of others, regardless of a person's 
race, gender, importance, income, education, or lack thereof. To me, in a 
setting such as the University of Chicago, where distinguished scholars were 
not always persons of morality, dignity, or humanity, Professor Franklin stood 
out as a true and shining star. 

In 1 970, 1 decided to begin work on a doctoral degree in history. The 
history graduate program at the University of Chicago was one of three at 
outstanding universities to which I applied, and I was fortunate enough to be 
accepted into all three. As a part of a process for deciding which program and 
setting would be best for me, I visited all three (leaving Chicago for the last) 
and, at each, met the distinguished scholar who would be my advisor if I 
decided to study there. During my visit to Chicago's department of history, 
where Dr. Franklin was then chairperson, I met with him and found him both 
gracious and welcoming. Nevertheless, for reasons I didn't fully understand 
at the time, I left still undecided. 


Then, one evening a few days before the date I had set for myself to 
indicate yes to one university and no to the others, I went, as part of my work 
as one of the University of Chicago's chaplains, to an emergency meeting. 
The persons responding to the special call for this meeting came together to 
discuss ways in which we, as individuals and as a group, could work to stem 
a dramatic rise in crime, violence, and racial tension in Chicago. One of the 
people at that meeting was Dr. Franklin. As a group of disparate individuals 
deliberated on a complex series of problems that seemed insoluble, Professor 
Franklin played a major role in helping them develop a sense of common 
purpose and shared goals. When that meeting was over, I knew I would be 
going to the University of Chicago to study history and, more important, to 
be one of Dr. Franklin's students. 

While a graduate student, I experienced Dr. Franklin as a rigorous and 
demanding teacher and advisor. He worked tirelessly to develop and 
strengthen the skills of his students. His class preparation was then and is 
now painstaking; his lectures and publications then were and are now models 
of exemplary research and writing; and, as one who is not only a historian but 
a maker of history, his knowledge and understanding of sources, archival and 
human, was then and is now breathtaking. To be in his company is to 
experience the meaning of the statement that to a great teacher class is always 
in session. Dr. Franklin demanded creativity, critical thinking, and scholarly 
commitment from his students. In return, he gave them his confidence, 
respect, and support. His push to encourage his students to grow intellectually 
never ceases, even after some, like myself, are on the verge of senior 
citizenship. To have been Dr. Franklin's student is to receive the gift of a life- 
long teacher, friend, critic, encourager, companion, and journeymate. 

For so many years of my relationship with Dr. Franklin, he and his 
wife, Mrs. Aurelia Franklin, walked side by side as devoted life-partners. Mrs. 
Franklin, whom I miss greatly, was a wonderfully gracious, generous, warm- 
hearted, beautiful lady, whom to know was to love. Wherever John Hope and 
Aurelia were, they welcomed students into their world, opening their doors to 
them for seminars, dinners, and leisurely visits, as well as opening their hearts 
in ways that turned students and their spouses or companions into their life- 
long friends. 

A student privileged to know Dr. Franklin as teacher, advisor, and 
friend quickly becomes aware of his leisure interests. He is an orchid grower; 
an art collector; a lover of classical music; a fly fisherman; a gourmet cook; and 
a world class gourmand who appreciates fine food, whether served in an 
unpretentious neighborhood eatery or a four-star restaurant. His hobbies and 
recreational interests are essential parts of who he is. They enrich his life; they 
renew his energies. 

Because of his extraordinary achievements Dr. Franklin is one of the 


best known scholars and public figures in the English-speaking world. As a 
scholar, he has made his life's work the dissemination of knowledge. As a 
public intellectual and citizen, he has functioned both as a moralist and 
ethicist, challenging his fellow-citizens and the citizens of other nations to do 
everything possible to make this world a better place for all. Throughout his 
long and distinguished career, Dr. Franklin has produced scholarship that has 
uncovered hidden truths and overturned deceptions. This scholarship has 
been graced with analyses that reflect his compelling beliefs about good and 
evil, right and wrong. Through the lens of that scholarship and analysis, he has 
passed judgment on beliefs, practices, and behaviors, past and present, many 
of which have been curses on the United States and the world. As a historian, 
public intellectual, and citizen, he is a true progressive. He is also a true liberal, 
one who seeks constantiy to understand and appreciate the value of each 
person he encounters, whatever her or his gender, age, sexual preference, 
lifestyle, race, ethnicity, class, nationality, or place of birth. 

Observing Dr. Franklin's movement through the world of academia, 
sometimes it seems he knows and is known by every scholar and educator 
both in and outside the state of North Carolina. At meetings of learned 
societies, his progress through the halls and lobbies often resembles a 
reception, as he repeatedly pauses to acknowledge and greet his many friends, 
acquaintances, and admirers. With amazing frequency, he addresses his greeter 
by name and engages in conversations that, however brief, convey his sensitive 
recall of each person's professional and personal concerns. In every 
professional and public position Dr. Franklin has held, I have observed him 
to be unfailingly kind, gracious, and patient with persons known and unknown 
to him. This is particularly true of his interactions with students, from those 
in elementary school to those doing graduate work, and with younger scholars. 

The best of those who differ with Dr. Franklin respect him, for it is 
impossible not to acknowledge the well-considered basis of his convictions 
and their sincerity. It is also impossible not to respect the frankness with 
which he makes his opinions, beliefs, and positions clear, and to admire the 
courage with which he holds them, even to the sacrifice of professional and 
personal comfort. 

John Hope Franklin, the eminent scholar and distinguished public 
intellectual, is a vibrant example of the qualities, behaviors, values, and 
achievements that embody the classic definitions of a learned scholar, a 
virtuous citizen, and a cultured gendeman. Yet, as the years have added up 
since I was his graduate student at the University of Chicago, it is the richness 
of his humanity that seems to me his greatest gift to all those who know and 
appreciate him. I think especially of his strong sense of purpose, 
complemented by courage, decency, and integrity, his wit and humor, his gifts 
as a storyteller, his immense and insatiable curiosity, and his openness to new 


people, experiences, and adventures. 

I am an insatiable reader of nineteenth-century English novels. Over 
the years, Dr. Franklin's awesome achievements, coupled with his warmth, 
genuineness, and civility, have brought to mind repeatedly those figures in the 
great nineteenth-century English literary classics who personify character, 
virtue, and gentility — examples are Jane Austen's John Knightley, William 
Makepeace Thackeray's Colonel Thomas Newcome, and, perhaps most apt of 
all, Anthony Trollope's Plantagenet Palliser, Duke of Omnium. The 
difference being, they are fictional and Dr. John Hope Franklin is real. 

The person we honor this evening is — and I place this claim on him 
with humility and heartfelt gratitude — my esteemed, valued, and beloved 
teacher and mentor. From him, I learned, early and late, beneficial lessons 
about practical skills: how to research, how to read and think critically, how to 
write with accuracy, precision, and passion. Equally important, I learned, early 
and late, by example as well as admonition, to bring under judgment liars and 
oppressors, as well as bad decisions and dereliction of duty by individuals, 
institutions, and governments. Dr. Franklin's scholarship, his work as a public 
intellectual, and his service to the United States as a citizen with a capital "C" 
have been a shining example to me and countless others. 

Since I am an Episcopal priest as well as a historian, you will, I hope, 
forgive me for including, and concluding with, a Biblical text. It is from the 
15 th chapter of Ecclesiasticus, the 5 th verse, and reads thus: 

In the midst of the assembly he opened his mouth; and the Lord filled him with 

the spirit of wisdom and understanding. 

Presentation of the Award 

Willis P. Whichard 

To my left you see a photograph of the sterling silver cup representing 
the North Caroliniana Society Award, the original of which is exhibited in the 
North Carolina Collection Reading Room in Wilson Library in Chapel Hill. 
Several years ago John and Ann Sanders were given the assignment of 
selecting a tangible symbol of this award. This is not just another cup; it 
already had a distinguished history connecting the family of Thomas Jefferson 
with that of Calvin Coolidge. Jefferson had a favorite granddaughter who, late 
in his life, married a Coolidge and moved to Massachusetts. Much to his 
sorrow he never saw her again, but he heard about her through his 
correspondence with his friend John Adams, who saw her with some 
frequency. The trophy is appropriately engraved with the wording, "The 
North Caroliniana Society Award for Distinguished Contributions to North 
Carolina History and Culture," to which is added the name of each recipient 
on an accompanying sterling plate. 

John and Ann also selected modest sterling cups, one of which is 
appropriately engraved and presented to each recipient. The simplicity of the 
cup is emblematic of the North Caroliniana Society's dedication to 
"Substance, not Show," the most essential quality we seek in each year's 
recipient. This year's recipient, like those before him, epitomizes substance 
over show. As we lawyers say, John Hope, this is your opportunity for 
"rebuttal time." Please come forward to accept this award and make such 
remarks as you choose. 

Acceptance of the A^ivard 

John Hope Franklin 

Thank you, Bill, and thanks to all of you. 

I have been reading the minutes of the North Caroliniana Society for 
years, and I have observed the care with which you have chosen previous 
recipients of this award. Of course, I understand how, as an organization gets 
old and inefficient, it begins to scrape the bottom of the barrel. 

I am particularly pleased and honored that the Society chose two of 
my star pupils to be with us this evening and to address you on a subject that 
I do not find nearly so interesting as they do. Each to his own taste, you see. 
As they were talking I was reminiscing about my encounters with each of 


I remember well when Eric Anderson applied for admission to the 
University of Chicago's graduate school in history. He came from a small 
Seventh Day Adventist college, and we were not terribly impressed with the 
fact that he had made all A's in undergraduate courses. We thought, "He must 
be teacher's pet." But we couldn't fail to recognize his record as a graduate 
from college with all A's, so we offered him a fellowship. He turned it 
down — an act unheard of at the University of Chicago — on the grounds that 
he was able to come to the university and pay his own way. He suggested that 
we could use those funds to help a student not able to pay his or her own way. 
We admitted him, of course; we welcomed him, of course. Then we noticed 
that in his first year in graduate school he still made all A's. No "teacher's 
pet," we now realized. He went on to become a very distinguished graduate 
student and scholar who has through the years proven that our judgment 
coincided with that of his college and grade school teachers as extraordinary, 
and we were very pleased. 

I remember so well too when Al Moss came into my office to talk 
with me about becoming a graduate student in history. I put you, too, Al, 
through some questions, and I was impressed by the fact that you had been 
through a rigorous professional program at the Episcopal Theological 
Seminary, and I thought that your experience would be beneficial in graduate 
work in history. And so we admitted you, and you became one of our star 

And then I saw these two men become not only best friends but also 
professional collaborators. And they were as absolutely inseparable thirty 
years ago as they are today. Now, they are in Chapel Hill doing research on 
a subject on which they have been working for several years. I like to feel that 
they gained some of that inspiration and some of that enthusiasm for hard 
work from the seminars and courses that they took with me. But I also like 
to believe that they became better, more talented, more gifted than they were 
in my seminar — that they stand on their own as distinguished professors in 
their own right. 

I was particularly flattered when they published The Facts of 
Reconstruction and dedicated it to me. They made it clear to me and in their 
introduction that this was not an ordinary run-of-the-mill festschrift. It was 
a collection of observations by my students; they wanted to challenge me by 
what I had said and by what they had to say about me. At the dinner that they 
gave me in connection with the publication of the book, they requested me to 
respond to what they had written. Well, I had not read the book, so I couldn't 
respond! I asked them to give me a while. I was moved by the fact that this 
was not just an apple-polishing exercise on the part of my former students. 
These were observations on what I had said, which in some cases stimulated 
them to take on the argument and to develop it beyond where I was. I 


thought that was what my students ought to do, and I was immensely pleased 
with that approach to scholarship. 

I want to say a final word about my association with Al Moss. When 
I was preparing the sixth edition of From Slavery to Freedom, I asked him to be 
my co-author. I was getting on in years and believed that the book deserved 
the kind of energy and perspective that I could no longer give it. I invited him 
to come and work with me, and he came not only to work with me, but in 
many ways he initiated new ideas that went into the book. He would come 
down to Durham and spend weeks working with me, staying in my home and 
getting up early in the morning and working all day. We gave it all we had, and 
I believe that the book is all the better because of his insight and his energy 
and the views that he put into that effort. 

Finally, let me say that I have had 32 PhD's at the University of 
Chicago, and those students have fulfilled my life like almost nothing else. 
They have been for the most part productive scholars, energetic and 
imaginative teachers, and professionals who have given so much that I was 
unable to give them. I view them as an extension of me. I am egotist enough 
to be delighted that I have had that kind of extension and I am so pleased. I 
have lost four of them; it has been like a parent burying his children. But that 
just means that those who have survived must redouble their efforts for those 
who have gone on, and I hope that those who are not here tonight will be 
inspired by what Eric and Al have said, as, indeed, I am inspired to continue 
the work through the remainder of my life. 

And let me say finally to the North Caroliniana Society that I am 
flattered and honored and somewhat bewildered by this attention, but I'll take 



At top, President Whichard moderates question period following Dr. Franklin 's address 
in the afternoon. At bottom, Dr. Franklin and former Governor Robert W. Scott 
reminisce about their conversation concerning North Carolina's public colleges when the 
professor brought his Chicago seminar to Raleigh in 1 967 for research in the State Archives. 
Many friends of the recipient are pictured in snapshots on the following pages. 









A. Special North Caroliniana Society 
Award to William Dallas Herring 

On May 7 at Rose Hill during a meeting of the Duplin County 
Historical Society, a special North Caroliniana Society Award for 2005 was 
presented to William Dallas Herring in recognition of his illustrious career as 
North Carolina's leading promoter of public education. 

Dr. H. David Bruton, who succeeded Dr. Herring as chairman of the 
State Board of Education in 1977, gave the main address, emphasizing his 
predecessor's lifetime of public service, particularly his passionate support and 
innovative leadership in public education and his role in the development of 
the state's community college system. In his acceptance of the award from 
President Whichard, Dr. Herring said, "I thank all of the wonderful people 
who have contributed in so many ways to the progress of this state and to its 
culture. We led the way. . . ." 

A more extensive account of the ceremony will be published in the 
Annual Report oj the North Caroliniana Society, 2004-2005. Left to right in the 
photograph are Dr. H. G.Jones, who presided; Dr. Herring; Justice Whichard, 
and Dr. Bruton. 

The North Caroliniana Society 

Wilson Library, Campus Box 3930 
Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27514-8890 

Telephone (919) 962-1172; Fax (919) 962-4452; hyones(fl),emaiI. unc. edit; 

Chartered on 11 September 1975 as a private nonprofit corporation under provisions of 
Chapter 55A of the General Statutes of North Carolina, the North Caroliniana Society is dedicated to the 
promotion of increased knowledge and appreciadon of North Carolina's heritage through the 
encouragement of scholarly research and writing in and teaching of state and local history and literature; 
publication of documentary materials, including the numbered, limited-edidon North Caroliniana Society 
Imprints and North Caroliniana Society Keepsakes; sponsorship of professional and lay conferences, seminars, 
lectures, and exhibitions; commemoration of historic events, including sponsorship of markers and plaques; 
and through assistance to the North Carolina Collection of UNC-Chapel Hill and other cultural 
organizations with kindred objectives. With an entirely volunteer staff, the Society is headquartered in the 
incomparable North Carolina Collection in UNC's Wilson Library. 

Incorporated by H. G. Jones, William S. Powell and Louis M. Connor, Jr., who soon were 
joined by a distinguished group of North Carolinians, the Society was limited to a hundred members for 
the first decade. It elects from time to time additional individuals meeting its strict criterion of "adjudged 
performance" in service to their state's culture — i.e., those who have demonstrated a continuing interest 
in and support of the historical, literary, and cultural heritage of North Carolina. The Society, a tax-exempt 
organization under provisions of Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, expects continued service 
from its members, and for its programs it depends upon the contributions, bequests, and devises of its 
members and friends. Its IRS number is 56-1119848. Upon request, contributions to the Society may be 
counted toward Chancellor's Club membership. The Society administers a fund, given in 1987 by the 
Research Triangle Foundation in honor of its retiring board chairman and the Society's longtime president, 
from which more than 225 Archie K. Davis Fellowships have been awarded for research in North 
Carolina's historical and cultural resources. The Society sponsors the North Caroliniana Book Award, and 
it also confers the William Stevens Powell Award upon a senior student who has contributed most to an 
understanding of the history and traditions of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

A highlight of the Society's year is the presentation of the North Caroliniana Society Award to 
an individual or organization for long and distinguished service in the encouragement, production, 
enhancement, promotion, and preservation of North Caroliniana. Starting with Paul Green, the Society 
has recognized Albert Coates, SamJ. Ervin, Jr., Sam Ragan, Gertrude S. Carraway, John Fries Blair, William 
and Ida Friday, William S. Powell, Mary and James Semans, David Stick, William M. Cochrane, Emma Neal 
Morrison, Burke Davis, Lawrence F. London, Frank H. Kenan, Charles Kuralt, Archie K. Davis, H. G. 
Jones, J. Carlyle Sitterson, LeRoy T. Walker, Hugh M. Morton, John L. Sanders, Dons Betts, Reynolds 
Price, Richard H. Jenrette, Wilma Dvkeman, Frank Borden Hanes, Sr., Maxine Swalin, Elizabeth Vann 
Moore, W. Trent Ragland, Jr., W. Dallas Herring, John Hope Franklin, and, on its sesquicentenmal, the 
North Carolina Collection. 


Willis P. Whichard, President 

Archie K. Davis (1911-1998) and William C. Friday, Presidents Emeriti 

William S. Powell, Vice-President, H. G.Jones, Secretary; Martin H. Brinkley, Treasurer 

H. David Bruton, Kevin Cherry, James W. Clark, Jr., Betty A. Hodges 

Dana Borden Lacy, Nancy C. Lilly, W. Trent Ragland, Jr., John L. Sanders 

Emeriti. Frank Borden Hanes, Sr., Edward L. Rankin, Jr., Robert W. Scott, William D. Snider 

Ex Officio: Archives & History Director, North Carolina Collection Curator 


[continued from inside front cover] 

No. 20. My Father, Burke Davis (1990) 
by Angela Davis-Gardner 

No. 21. A Half Century with Rare Books (1991) 
by Lawrence F. London 

No. 22. Frank H. Kenan: An Appreciation (1992) 
edited by Archie K. Davis 

No. 23. Growing Up in North Carolina, by Charles Kuralt, and 
The Uncommon Faureate, by Wallace H. Kuralt (1993) 

No. 24. Chancellors Extraordinary: J. Carlyle Sitterson and FeRoy T. Walker (1995) 
by William C. Friday and Willis P. Whichard 

No. 25. Historical Consciousness in the Farly Republic (1 995) 
edited by H. G. Jones 

No. 26. Sixty Years with a Camera (1996) 
by Hugh M. Morton 

No. 27. William Gaston as a Public Man (1997) 
by John L. Sanders 

No. 28. William P. Cumming and the Study of Cartography (1998) 
edited by Robert Cumming 

No. 29. My Love Affair with Carolina (1998) 
by Doris Waugh Betts 

No. 30. A Single but Huge Distinction (1999) 
by Reynolds Price 

No. 3 1 . Richard Jenrette 's Adventures in Historic Preservation (2000) 
edited by H. G. Jones 

No. 32. Sketches in North Carolina USA 1872 to 1878 (2001) 
by Mortimer O. Heath; edited by H. G. Jones 

No. 33. Roots and Branches (2001) 
by Wilma Dykeman 

No. 34. Glimmers in the Gloaming (2002) 
by Frank Borden Hanes, Sr. 

No. 35. Coming of Age in North Carolina's Fifth Century, by Maxine Swalin, and 
The North Carolina Symphony, The People's Orchestra, by John L. Humber (2003) 

No. 36. Reflections (2004) 
by W. Trent Ragland, Jr. 

No. 37. Photographers in North Carolina: The First Century, 1842-1941 (2004) 
Essays by Stephen E. Massengill, H. G. Jones, Jesse R. Lankford 

No. 38. North Carolina Conundrum (2005) 
by John Hope Franklin 





Paul Green 


Archie K. Davis 


Albert Coates 


H. G. Jones 


Sam J. Ervin, Jr. 


North Carolina Collection 


Sam Ragan 


J. Carlyle Sitterson 


Gertrude Sprague Carraway 


EeRqy T. Walker 


John Fries Blair 


Hugh MacRae Morton 


William C. <& Ida H. Friday 


John E Sanders 


William S. Powell 


Doris Waugh Betts 


Mary D.B.T. & James. 



Reynolds Price 


David Stick 


Richard H Jenrette 


William McWhorter Cochrane 


Wilma Djkeman 


Emma Neal Morrison 


Frank Borden Hanes, Sr. 


Burke Davis 


Maxine Swalin 


Eawrence F. Eondon 


Elizabeth Vann Moore 


Frank Hawkins Kenan 


W. Trent Ragland, Jr. 


Charles Kuralt 


W. Dallas Herring 


John Hopt 

' Franklin 







North Caroliniana Society 

no. 38 


Form No. A-368, Rev. 8/95